Behold: Psalm 34:1-5
April 21, 1968
Becoming what you look at in reference to believers beholding the Christ in them rather than their human shortcomings; also word study on Greek word for ‘behold’.
SNT – 346
Publication Date: 04-21-1968
Victor Paul Wierwille was a Bible scholar and teacher for over four decades.
By means of Dr. Wierwille's dynamic teaching of the accuracy and integrity of God's Word, foundational class and advanced class graduates of Power for Abundant Living have learned that the one great requirement for every student of the Bible is to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Thus, his presentation of the Word of God was designed for students who desire the in-depth-accuracy of God’s Word.
In his many years of research, Dr. Wierwille studied with such men as Karl Barth, E. Stanley Jones, Glenn Clark, Bishop K.C. Pillai, and George M. Lamsa. His formal training included Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Theology degrees from Mission House (Lakeland) College and Seminary. He studied at the University of Chicago and at Princeton Theological Seminary from which he received a Master of Theology degree in Practical Theology. Later he completed his work for the Doctor of Theology degree.
Dr. Wierwille taught the first class on Power for Abundant Living in 1953.
Books by Dr. Wierwille include: Are the Dead Alive Now? published in 1971; Receiving the Holy Spirit Today published in 1972; five volumes of Studies in Abundant Living— The Bible Tells Me So (1971), The New, Dynamic Church (1971), The Word's Way (1971), God's Magnified Word (1977), Order My Steps in Thy Word (1985); Jesus Christ Is Not God (1975); Jesus Christ Our Passover (1980); and Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed (1982).
Dr. Wierwille researched God's Word, taught, wrote, and traveled worldwide, holding forth the accuracy of God's "wonderful, matchless" Word.
Psa 34:1-5; Eph 1:3
Col 1:10, 12-15; (Heb 12:2)
2Co 3:18; Joh 1:14; Act 1:11
Act 1:11; 1Jo 1:1; Joh 17:24; 2Pe1:16; 1Pe 2:12; 3:2; Psa 34:1-3, 5
Take your Bible tonight and turn to Psalm 34. In the Book of Psalms and Psalm number 34.
I want to take you into the Word of God tonight and to show you what the Word of God declares to be the secret of a holy life. I'd like to read the first five verses of this 34th Psalm.
… I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my [what?] mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
Verse 5 once again,
They looked unto him, and were [what?] lightened:…
There is the secret of a holy life. They looked unto him, and were lightened.
The only life we have comes from him. This is the secret of peace and happiness and of real progress in Christian living; to look unto him and to be lightened. All of men's looking elsewhere – as we look at ourselves, as we look at others – is always defeating and frustrating and it never enables us to really live a holy life.
I'm sure you have never done this, but I know some people who have through the years. For instance, in a church service they would sort of watch what that fella put in the offering so that they could at least put the same amount in, or a little more. You've never done anything like this! On the individual member canvases, some of us have learned through the years that a man in such a position in the community could give $500 a year. Therefore, to maintain the prestige, we looked at that and we gave 500.
I think it was Emerson who said… He's not the Lord. He said he hoped that some day he would get to be the kind of person he’d really like to be on the inside, that he could withhold the [inaudible 00:03:25]. And he used that in relationship to the people who came to knock on his door and would ask for a dollar for this canvas, a dollar for that canvas, a commitment for this cause, and a commitment for that cause. And, you know, the people that always come are those who are your neighbors, that almost next door to you, are prominent men and women in profession or business fields.
And so instead of looking at him to be lightened, we have turned and we have looked either at ourselves or at somebody else and have manifested the frustration and the fears in our life, and have not tapped into the secret of a holy life.
The same danger, of course, exists today as we look into commentaries and read what they have to say about the Word of God. Or we look at the newspaper or at the radios, the televisions or the religious periodicals. You know that Satan knows better than millions of believers that our strength, our life, our peace, our joy comes from looking unto Jesus. And therefore he does everything in his power to get the believer to look at everything else but at Jesus and what he did for us; what God accomplished in Christ Jesus for the believer. Anything goes as far as the enemy is concerned, so long as it accomplishes this one basic purpose and that is of keeping the born again believer from looking unto him, Jesus Christ, who is the only source of light and life and peace and hope.
You see, in most of the holiness of life that people are talking about, they are endeavoring to seek the blessing rather than to seek the blessor, the one who has it.
In Ephesians chapter 1, and I think you ought to turn to it, verse 3 of this first chapter.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath [what?] blessed us with [what?] all spiritual blessings…
Then, class, are we blessed? That we need not seek the blessing, we need to see him who is the blessor because then we are already blessed in Christ Jesus with all spiritual blessings.
You see, most people in their walk, in their holiness of their walk, they believe that they are what they feel. They believe that they're just as good as they feel they're good. And they believe they're are just as bad as they feel. It is difficult for them today to understand how we can be different in God's sight than we are in our own.
You see, we see ourselves in the light of his mercy and of his grace which God has shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. And so more and more, as we see ourselves in the light of this which God has shed abroad in our hearts by His mercy and by His grace, we note the terrible corruption of our own natural human selves. Whereas God sees us only in Christ and what He made us to be in him.
This is why, in a literal sense, God says to every believer in Christ Jesus, He says to you, “This is my beloved son.” Not because of what you are or what I am, but because of what he is. And He is in me. Christ in you, the hope of glory. And therefore, God looks upon us in the light of what we are in Christ Jesus.
You see, this is what I mean when I say the closer you get to Jesus, the closer you get to that walk where you see God's mercy and God's grace, the more you look at yourself, the more degraded, the more unworthy you look to yourself as you look at yourself. So the thing that the Christian believer has to quit doing is to look at himself and to look at Christ.
We have to look at what we are in Christ Jesus. That is the secret of the holy life. To quit looking at ourselves and to look at him who did shed abroad in our hearts his presence and power by the Holy Spirit.
Well, this seems to be too good to be true. Well, now you're again looking at it from what point? The senses point of view of what man feels too good to be true. Well, maybe it's too good to be true but it's still true. And I thank God that it's true and that it's so good that it is true.
You know, in Colossians, chapter 1, look at verse 10.
That ye might walk worthy [That ye might walk worthy] of the Lord unto [what?] all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge [or ‘by’ is the text, the preposition. By the knowledge] of God;
That you might walk worthy or worthily. To walk worthily means to walk giving thanks unto God. To walk worthily means to do exactly what those first four and five verses of Psalms 34 stated tonight.
Look at verse 12. To walk worthily, verse 12, is to…
Giving thanks unto [whom?] the Father, which hath [past tense] made us meet [the word meet is adequate. Who has made us adequate. Who has made us meet] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in [the what?] light:
He has made us. So to walk worthily is not to abstain from pickles or onions, or from wearing white shoes or black shoes or a wig. To walk worthily, to walk worthily is to just give thanks unto whom? The Father.
You see, you can become so concerned about your walk and about your service and about the work that you are doing, that you lose cognizance – and I'm using it in the depths of which I'm thinking – you lose the great cognizance that your service is not first and foremost on a horizontal plane but it's first and foremost in a perpendicular relationship.
It never makes the father's heart happy if the son is gone 24 hours of the day working on the field. It makes the father happy if the son is out there working, yes, but it makes the father's heart happy when his son is just with him, or when the daughter is just there with the family. This is what makes him happy, makes for joy in a family.
Thought of this today while we were going to the class that Mel George is opening today. Our JP and Sara were along. Weren’t doing anything, but I was happy. Why? Not because they were out there raising money for The Way ministry, not because they were out doing anything, but they were just with daddy and mommy. How our heavenly Father loves the fellowship that we have with Him because we look at Him first and foremost. This is the holiness of [inaudible 00:14:21]. This is the secret of a holy life. To walk worthily is to,
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us [adequate] meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in [the] light:
[And] Who hath [past tense. Verse 13] delivered us from the power of [what?] darkness, and hath translated us [he’s already what? Translated us] into [His] the kingdom…
And tonight we're still gathered here at The Way Biblical Research Center but, as far as God is concerned, He has already made us adequate to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light, and He hath already delivered us and he hath already what? Translated. And we're already seated in the heavenlies with Him.
Boy, what a gospel, what a word, what a message to our day and our time. What an enthusiasm this builds. What an effervescence it places in the soul of a man or woman who knows the reality of that which they have in Christ Jesus. And that the holiness of life is not dependent upon how many times have we been down to the altar, how many times have we confessed the same blessed old sins over and over again. The secret of a holy life is not dependent upon how many street corners we stand on and share. The secret of a holy life is just to love him, first and foremost.
Then the little bit of work we do is not that we labor to be accepted with him, but because we are accepted with him therefore we labor that we may be what? Well, pleasing, Corinthians, says – 2 Corinthians – unto Him. He's already translated us.
This is why verse 14 says,
In whom we have [we’ve got right now] redemption…
The remission of sins. The words ‘through his blood’ are omitted in every critical Greek text. And the word ‘forgiveness’ in verse 14 is the word remission.
In whom we have redemption. We’ve got it. The remission of sins.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: [or of all creation]
You see, as we look at him, stop looking at our state but look at our standing in Christ, what God made us to be in him because of what he did for the believer, you get to that holiness of life the Word talks about. And we look unto Jesus, as Hebrews says, the author and the finisher of faith. We look unto him.
You always become what you look at. And there is a word in the Bible that describes this whole gamut of this holiness of life, and that is the word beholding.
There are four entirely different Greek words used in the Bible to describe this beholding. And it is these four words that give us all there is to know. And if we understand these four, we will know all that we will ever know regarding God's Word and this holiness of life with which we are dealing tonight.
One of those Greek words… One of those Greek words is the word spelled K-A-T-O-P-T-R-I-Z-O-M-E-N-O-I. I have placed it here – Peter has rather – on the blackboard for us, and he wrote it rather in large letters so you could see it. Katoptrizomenoi. It’s a long word, isn’t it? Is this a Z or… Where are you, Peter? That’s supposed to be a Z. Z-O-M. Z-O-M.
Now, all you need to do is take a Young's Analytical Concordance and you can check all of this which I'm saying tonight, and I'm sure most of you'll be doing this the next day or two. This is used, as far as I know, only once in the Bible, and this is in 2 Corinthians, chapter 3.
This word, katoptrizomenoi, means to behold as in a mirror. That’s its usage. To behold. I'm dealing with the word beholding. It means to behold as in a mirror. In 2 Corinthians – Acts, Romans, Corinthians – chapter 3. In verse 18.
2 Corinthians 3:18:
But we all, with open face beholding as in a [what?] glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same [what?] image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
“With an open face beholding as in a glass.” If you go back in the verses before this, you will find out that this was written regarding Moses – the experience Moses had. When he was up on the mountain, God gave him the Ten Commandments. His whole countenance, his whole face changed. And this is the meaning here.
2 Corinthians 3:18:
… we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [by this we] are changed into the same [image that we are beholding.]
If we're beholding glory, what kind of image are we going to be changed in? Glory. It's like if you're receiving love, you give out love. As you give out love, you receive it. You're receiving peace, as you give out peace you receive more peace. The same law. It's like I teach in the foundational class; all believing equals receiving and there is no receiving without believing, and what we believe we absolutely receive. What we look at we become the embodiment of.
Moses had had such a tremendous experience, it's like he had looked on God, that his whole countenance was changed. And so it says we behold like in a glass. In a mirror.
Now, the word glass is not too meaningful. It is to you in a mirror, but this is not the mirror it's talking about. It's talking about the mirrors of the times that were here. The glass, the mirrors of the times. And these mirrors were not made out of glass.
I thought of this particular verse of scripture one night when I was teaching in Columbus, Ohio. The greatest piece of art in that whole YW hangs on that wall in the vestibule. And nobody hardly ever looks at it because they think it's something that has tarnished and rusted out. You know what it is? It's a mirror. It's a very, very exclusive mirror. It's made out of metals like this is talking about. And when you look at it… Look at it. I'm sure you will now, you people from Columbus, you’ll really take a look at it. It’s a mirror that looks real dull, real faded out.
You’ve seen it? That thing is fabulous. The person who gave it to the Y, I'd accepted it if they gave it to Way ministry because then I would have an illustration here tonight. I'd bring the mirror up, show it to you.
They were made out of polished metal. And when the person looked into that, you see yourself. But the people who look at you, they see the reflection of that metal on your face. If it's a yellow metal, your whole face to them will look yellow. If it's a dark colored metal, the whole reflection on your face will be dark colored. Or if it's white, it'll be white. If it's a rose, it'll be a rose color. That's what he's talking about here. It's a tremendous truth. I'm not communicating too well, I don't believe, but, boy, you get a hold of this thing some day.
You see, looking unto whom? Jesus. You look unto Jesus.
Now, when you look unto him you see yourself in him, but when others look at you they see what on your face? Jesus. That's it. That's what that whole wonderful verse is talking about. You see, the person looking in that mirror sees himself, the others see the reflection on his face of that mirror.
And so as we look at Jesus, we see ourselves in him. Our standing. All of this. We see ourselves in him. But others looking at us see Jesus in us. That's what we're talking about. That's the greatness of it. This is why in the early church they took knowledge of them that they had been with whom? Jesus. Because they could see it written on their faces. It was that reflection they saw. That's its great usage.
The second usage of the word beholding in the Bible is this word theaomai. Theaomai. Theaomai. And that Greek word is spelled T-H-E-A-O-M-A-I. This kind of beholding is the beholding as in a theater. The stage is set, the players are all on the stage. And these players that are on the stage, they change. Not the player changes, just the face.
I'm talking now about stage theater – old Greek theater, Roman, this kind of thing. I'm talking about that stage. Today we have, let's say, 50 different characters in a play. But in a theater of antiquity, they might only have two or three players who played all the parts; and they played all the parts simply by changing their face. And that's where we got the word person from. The word person comes from the word persona, which means change of face. That's where we get the word personality. One minute he's [inaudible 00:27:30] and the next minute he's [inaudible 00:27:33] or something. It's the change of the face.
Now, this word theaomai means to behold as in a theater. You behold the changing of the faces. With eagerness, for instance. If you really become engrossed in the transaction upon the stage, you get eager for something. You're waiting for that particular character to say more and to get more deeply involved in the plot. It is to participate with delight. It means to participate with enthusiasm. And then, above all, this usage of this word means to behold, to participate with identification. You identify yourself with the characters that are being played on the stage.
Looking unto Jesus, his presence is reflected in our faith, but also we behold him. We behold him. We participate with delight, with eagerness, with enthusiasm, and with identification with him. A tremendous beholding. You wouldn't imagine that this kind of beholding would be used in the Bible, would you? It is three times.
John. Gospel of John, chapter 1, verse 14.
And the Word was made [what?] flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld [beheld is this word, theaomai. We beheld] his [what?] glory,…
His glory. His glory. We beheld with eagerness, with anticipation, with identification. We beheld his glory. A tremendous truth.
It's also used in Acts chapter 1, verse 11.
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have [what?] seen…
The word seen is beheld. As you have beheld. The word seen is the word theaomai..
… him go [where?] into heaven.
Boy, what a usage. This same Jesus is coming back and you're going to see him as you saw him go. You see, to be identified with him. Boy, it's really something. Remember, when he comes we shall be like him for we shall see him face to face? This is all involved here. All involved. He's coming back and then we're going to see him as they saw him go. To be identified with him with eagerness, with delight, with enthusiasm.
And in their first epistle of John, chapter 1, verse 1.
1 John 1:1:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have [what?] seen with our eyes,…
Which we have beheld. Which we have seen. First epistle of John, chapter 1, verse 1.
1 John 1:1:
… which we have seen with our eyes,
We have seen it.
The third usage of this word beholding in the Bible is this word theoreo. And that word is spelled T-H-E-O-R-E-O. This is enough. T-H-E-O-R-E-O. And you people will love this word, especially you athletes, because the only place this word is used is at the Olympics. I wonder if they know this about the summer Olympics. This is the only usage, the only time these words are used.
And it's a very interesting usage because this word is used regarding the official representative at the Olympics who is seated in the official box seat at the [inaudible 00:32:44]. That's pretty good, huh? He's top rank. It's like the president of the United States. If the president of the United States goes to a football game, he would have a special box. That's the word. That's the word. Theoreo, which means the official representative who is seated in the official box seat.
It literally means to behold from a position of privilege. That’s it. To behold from a position of privilege. And not just from a privilege of a lieutenant, but from the privilege of the top representative.
And it also is used in the Gospel of John in the 17th chapter. A wonderful usage here of this word. John 17. Listen to this, verse 24.
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast [what?] given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, [that they may behold my glory] which thou hast given me:…
That they may behold. To be with him. To sit in what seat? Boy, oh boy. To behold from the position of privilege. The official representative to sit in the best box seat in the house. This was his prayer to everybody to be given to Jesus. So it's for you and for me. He prayed,
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I [what?] am; that they may behold my glory,…
And the final usage of this word beholding in the Word of God is this word. E-P-O-P-T-E-U-O. Epopteuo. It’s spelled E-P-O-P-T-E-U-O. This word was only used regarding individuals who had been initiated into the innermost secrets of Greek religion. The ones who were no longer pledges or neophytes, but ones who had just been initiated and we're full-fledged members of the sorority or the fraternity of religion.
The usage of this word is in 2 Peter in a remarkable way. Hebrews, James, 1, 2 Peter. In chapter 1 of 2 Peter, and in verse 16.
2 Peter 1:16:
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses…
The word eyewitnesses is this word epopteuo. It is this word. But we were eyewitnesses. We were fully initiated by seeing and by participation. It's talking about Peter and James and John who went up on the Mount of Transfiguration with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what it's referring to. And when they were up there, they beheld. They were eyewitnesses. They beheld. They fully participated, being initiated by seeing this thing happen.
Look, the usage of that. When we look upon Jesus, see him as he is face to face, as we look at him, we, the initiated ones, by seeing what he did for us we are fully in participation with him, for we behold him.
In 1 Peter chapter 2, there's a remarkable usage in verse 12 of this chapter.
1 Peter 2:12:
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall [what?] behold, [this is the word [inaudible 00:09:25] there] glorify God in the day of visitation.
In other words, the heathen, the unbelievers look at you, look at the believer, and they're just shocked at what they see. Because, you being fully initiated, seeing you in the participation of looking at Christ and magnifying the greatness of Christ, they behold your work, the greatness of God in your life.
And the same truth, of course, is stipulated in chapter 3, verse 2. And it's the same words.
I Peter 3:2:
While they behold your [what?] chaste conversation coupled with fear.
The heathen behold your conversation. They behold it.
These are the four usages of the word behold in the Bible. In Psalms 34 where we began this evening in this teaching session, I want you to look at it again.
… I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: [of what he has done]…
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
They looked unto him, and were [what?] lightened:…
Now, I know that this word lightened is not the Greek word I gave to you, but it's the Hebrew word which means, they looked unto him and were lightened. It is to look upon with dependence. It is to look upon with deep interest. That's its meaning here. And with deep affection.
They looked unto him and they were lightened. They were lightened. This is the usage of these words. And the holiness of life, the walk in our life, the secret of a holy life is not to look at yourself or to anyone else, but to look at him. For as we look at him we become what we look at.